‘Difficult People’ will make or break Hulu

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If life was a boxing movie and Hulu a fighter in the ring, he would be bruised, bloodied and pinned to the ground.

Of the big three streaming services offering original content, poor, bedraggled Hulu is the only one that hasn’t yet scored a bona fide hit.

Netflix, the reigning behemoth, boasts a growing roster of must-watch series, including “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” And all TV sophisticates’  eyes are glued to Amazon Prime following the smashing success of its transgender dramedy “Transparent,” which in July earned 11 Emmy nominations.

And even though Hulu is the only company of the three that was founded as a dedicated streaming service, strong original programming has, bewilderingly, eluded it. Users  see it as a platform better suited to ABC’s “Scandal” than “Deadbeat,” which is an original show on Hulu, apparently.

“Difficult People,” produced by comedy powerhouse Amy Poehler and available Wednesday, could be the struggling service’s final rally.

The cruel comedy, starring Billy Eichner of TruTV’s “Billy On the Street” and Julie Klausner, host of the popular podcast “How Was Your Week?”, follows two perpetually irritated friends who are rubbed the wrong way by everyone but each other.

The trailer reveals some seriously funny guest stars — Amy Sedaris,

Billy Eichner and Julie KlausnerPhoto: Universal Cable Productions/Hulu

 

Ana Gasteyer, Andrea Martin — and delicious situations for the lovably rude Eichner to dig his quick-witted teeth into, like interrupting a funeral with loud small talk. And Klausner is a sharp, relatable and versatile performer who viewers should take a fast liking to. Beyond her delightful podcast, she’s published a book and regularly takes the stage in hilarious cabarets.

The show has all the makings of a hit — if the many viewers catching up on “UnREAL” and “Wet Hot American Summer” even  know it’s happening.

For Hulu’s sake, let’s hope these  “Difficult People” are easy to love.

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